Apprentice Wins Gold at Nationals - News | Bendigo TAFE

Plumbing gold at WorldSkills
GOLD: Patrick Keating - Plumbing & Heating- VIC. Photo by WorldSkills Australia. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

The winners of the WorldSkills National Championships, Australia’s biggest vocational education and excellence competition, were announced at the closing ceremony in Sydney last night.

Bendigo TAFE’s plumbing apprentice Patrick Keating took out an individual gold medal competing as part of Team Victoria over the weekend. Bendigo TAFE CEO Trevor Schwenke congratulated Patrick and Team Victoria for a strong show of talent against Australia’s top vocational students.

“Well done to our participating students, particularly Patrick Keating for achieving gold in the plumbing category" Mr Schwenke said.

Along with the other gold medallists, the win will put Patrick in the running to represent Australia in Russia next year against the world’s best, which would be an incredible experience if he’s selected,”.

“We are very proud of our student competitors as well as the teachers who mentored and supported them on their journey. They have made a great contribution to Team Victoria.”

The championships showcased more than 50 skills and over 400 competitors aged below 25.

Eight competitors won gold medals and along with Patrick they will have an opportunity to represent Australia at the 45th WorldSkills international competition in Kazan, Russia in 2019.

“To actually win is such a surreal feeling," Patrick said. "The next stage is a lot of training to make it to Russia to compete internationally”.

Patrick earned his spot in Team Victoria following his wins at the WorldSkills regional competitions last year. Having won gold, he is now eligible to apply for a range of local and international scholarships.

“I’ve never participated in a skills competition like this. I think it’ll open up a lot of opportunities for me,” he said.

Currently working at Phoenix Plumbing in Bendigo East, the 21-year-old said a work experience stint in secondary school sparked his initial interest in the field and he’s never looked back since.

“I did some work experience while completing Year 12. I really enjoyed it and got a full-time job as an apprentice from there,” said Patrick.

Bendigo TAFE along with his employer Phoenix Plumbing congratulate Patrick on this achievement and wish him all the best as the selection process for Russia 2019 begins.​​​​